Family life in a sustainable setting

Villa Grenaa is the most sustainable single-family dwelling of its kind in Denmark, and has the papers to prove it. The home is primarily made of PEFC-certified wood, and certified to the highest standard in DGNB (platinum). It all began with a simple dream of building a wooden house.

Troldtekt acoustic ceilings are the natural choice when wanting to ensure superior acoustics and a healthy indoor climate in, for example, private homes
Photo: Tommy Kosior, Troldtekt A/S

The Friis Thaagaard family purchased a plot just outside Grenaa on Djursland with this aim in mind. Along the way, they began to set their sights higher, and the dream of living in a completely sustainable home took shape.
“It seemed silly not to build sustainably given that it is possible. We are surrounded by major global challenges that we cannot solve with a single house, but we decided to take the lead and build a single-family dwelling that can be DGNB certified. By doing so, we hope to make it easier for other families to build sustainably,” explains Dennis Friis Thaagaard.

In the autumn of 2020, Villa Grenaa was the first single-family house in Denmark to achieve a DGNB certification – even with the highest standard, platinum. DGNB is the most widely used certification in sustainable building in Denmark. The scheme ensures the sustainability of the house at the social, economic and environmental levels – during the construction process and in the finished building.

Living among healthy materials

Villa Grenaa, as the family has named their home, is a one-level house with wood-clad outer walls and large panoramic windows. The house features solar cells on the roof, wattle and daub walls, ventilation windows, a heat pump, wood chip insulation and a system to recycle shower water in the toilets and washing machine.

The house architecture also has sustainability in mind. For example, the eaves help keep heat inside the house. All materials have also been carefully chosen based on what they contain, how they are produced and how they can be recycled.

“We have tried to ensure we are living among the best possible materials, because we believe this is best for our health. And we are know that the result is a house that is lovely to be in. It’s nice to breathe here. This is quality of life for us,” says Dennis Friis Thaagaard.

All ceilings in the house have been clad with white-painted Troldtekt panels, while the family has chosen black Troldtekt acoustic panels for the eaves as an aesthetic touch.

“Troldtekt gives us the best acoustics on the market, and we’re also very positive about the way Troldtekt is produced. The acoustic panels are made from wood and cement and can be recycled. It’s also a big plus that Troldtekt uses only certified wood,” says Dennis Friis Thaagaard. 

Wood from sustainable forests

In addition to the DGNB certification, the home is the first single-family dwelling in the world to have received a PEFC certification. This certification is used to assess whether the wood used in a building can be traced back to sustainable forestry.

The family home has used wood for floorboards, wall cladding, wood chip insulation – and Troldtekt acoustic ceilings.

“All the wood in our house comes primarily from Nordic forests – and a little bit from Germany. Every time we received building materials containing wood we had to check and double check all the packing slips. It’s a bit of work, but we’re proud to take the lead and move into the first PEFC certified family house,” says Dennis Friis Thaagaard.